Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year to All

On behalf of the blog, I wish all our readers, my co-bloggers and contributors a very happy, healthy, peaceful and prosperous new year. May it bring new enthusiasm to sustain and foster our role as media watchdogs in 2011.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Beijing intellectuals enraptured by a neocon philosopher?

While the Congress plenary makes for a page 3 spectacle by parading one 'Category 5' moron after other on its runway, it's worthwhile to focus back at the real world. Columbia University professor, Mark Lilla, has an article on the strange fascination of Chinese intellectuals for the ideas of the German-Jewish philosopher Leo Strauss. Strauss's most influential idea perhaps is the constitution of a pool of elites who can help guide the society towards its own general good. While the article is for subscribers only, you can read it fully here.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Comrade Yechury has a new stand up routine

Sometimes I wonder how Comrades Karat (Prakash and Brinda) and Yechury manage to speak such rubbish when they are supposed to be the educated bunch. Hearing rubbish from riff raff like Digvijay Singh or Lalu or Rajnath Singh is one thing. But this is hilarious,
Replying to a student's question as to whether China was free from the clutches of crony capitalism given the market-oriented socialist system adopted by it, Mr. Yechury said China was “extremely strict” against such practices and handed out “deterrent punishment” to detected offenders.

Guess Comrade thinks China is the left wing paradise where crony capitalism doesn't exist. Either he is incredibly stupid or thinks anyone listening to this BS is.
Mr. Yechury also said that there “may be failings” in Left Front-ruled States of West Bengal and Kerala since the “prevalent system [bred] in-house corruption and nepotism”, but added that “there [was] always an endeavour to rectify it as the party has zero-tolerance towards such practices”.

Yup and Rome was built in a day.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Some interesting reads in the Friday Review

Of most cHindu supplements I have found the Friday Review to be a decent read. A potpourri of articles covering various facets of arts and culture from Music to Dance to religious pursuits.
In particular two articles one about the dying style of classical dancing called Vilasini Natyam.
And the other about a analysis of a discourse on Azhwar literature with Velukkudi Krishnan were noteworthy in content.
Sadly though its the case of a great dessert with a shabby meal with the cHindu and its supplements.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wen cHindu celebrated

The arrival of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on his second state visit to India on Wednesday is akin to a return for 'Lord Ram' from the forests (or just King Ram for the rationalist morons) for the people of cHindu.
Even if a single accord worth Rs.10 is signed one can expect a huge hullabaloo from the LiC and his minions on how this turns the relations between the two countries and presumptuously world domination.
Already Sidd V has started the opening act of getting the readers ready for the onslaught by putting out a piece Time to reset the India-China relationship.
As usual Sidd V blames Indian politicians and military commanders for questioning the Chinese authority (how dare they!)
But the stridency of its assertions — especially its objections to Indian leaders visiting the north-eastern State — took the Indian side by surprise. On their part, some Indian military commanders muddied the waters by making irresponsible public pronouncements which have fuelled both the jingoism and insecurity of a hyper-nationalist media and middle class. The suggestion made on background by some Indian officials that China's claims to the whole of Arunachal Pradesh violated the “political principles and parameters” governing the boundary settlement agreed to by both sides (because of the reference there to due regard being paid to the wishes of settled populations) may also have pushed Beijing into a more assertive mode.

Currently Sidd V is the leader in this week's Jackass of the week award (to be published shortly).

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

cHindu proves "Paid news" in Indian Media

This article proves how "Paid news" exists in Indian media. cHindu exposes how a large media corporation was "paid" by a particular country to write a favorable editorial on it. Read and weep.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

N.Ram ignores Nobel peace prize but readers upset

While we are yet to hear from N.Ram on the Nobel Peace prize, there is a general outpouring in the letters condemning the West! The main complaint is that these awards are given to dissidents. To counter this trend, China has introduced the Confucius award this year. It will be given to party loyalists. It is a different matter that this year's winner did not bother to turn up at the ceremony. N.Ram must be a prime contender for next year's award.
The Hindu : Opinion / Letters to the Editor : Nobel Peace
The Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace for his “non-violent struggle for the liberation of Tibet,” which amounts to treason in China. Henry Kissinger got his Peace Nobel for his efforts to end the war in Vietnam which, in fact, was a classic case of making a virtue of necessity. The U.S. could have never won the war in Vietnam. China is justified when it says the Nobel Peace Prize has been reduced to serve as the human rights stick by a few western nations to meddle in other countries' internal affairs.

Descent of India into Oligarchy

For all his failings in the 2G Radia scandal, Vir Sanghvi hit the nail on the head when he said:
how the public will not stand for resources being cornered, how we're creating a new list of oligarchs

India descends into Oligarchy
Let us look at all our media barons, mining giants etc. A small fraction of industrialists with the help of politicians, a blind eye from the judiciary and not tacit assistance from the media have cornered the nations resources and ergo its wealth for their own personal piggy banks.
What is the difference between India and Russia then?
Probably the fact that a small fraction of the population is enabled in India to work on the technology, banking and automobile sectors. But its much closer than we think.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

cHindu continues on its anti-semetic tirade

Of the themes continuously carpred by LiC and his minions one theme consistently stands out that is the tirade against anything Israel or Jewish. In that series, LiC rants against Israel's ability to manipulate the US to get aid and weapons but not give Palestine terrorists their state.
In consequence, the talks that began with three meetings between Mr. Netanyahu and the Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas in September are indefinitely stalled. The Palestinians are refusing to engage in further direct talks unless construction is halted; and Mr. Abbas is threatening to dissolve the Authority if an agreement for Palestinian statehood cannot be reached.Mr. Netanyahu will not be troubled by the stalemate or by criticism that he cannot control his Cabinet. That his Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, wants Israeli Arabs — about 20 per cent of Israel's population — compulsorily transferred to any future Palestinian state makes it easy for him to claim that his hands are tied.

The ridiculous nature of cHindu's rants are clearly exposed by reading any objective analysis of the situation which clearly puts equal blame on the Palestinian terrorist groups which pose as their voices which threaten a genocide that is tacitly supported by Iran (another cHindu favorite) who has been clearly exposed to be building nuclear weapons (wikileaks). But that's an angle cHindu will not touch. Hypocrites to the bone.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Deafening Silence on India's attendance at Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony

While most of our criticisms of The Hindu are normally about items in the paper, sometimes it is worth commenting on something that does not find mention in it. I refer, of course, to the paper's deafening silence on the question of India's attendance of the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony this year to dissident activist Liu Xiaobo in the face of China's call asking countries to boycott it. Several newspapers across the country have called upon the government to grow a spine, ignore the call and go ahead with its attendance. This publication which is usually at the forefront of providing unsolicited advice to the government in foreign affairs particularly where it concerns relations with the United States has been sitting it out editorially on this question. Even the op-ed columns have not mentioned anything about the matter. It is quite remarkable that a paper which regularly dishes out shrill rhetoric about the need for India to pursue an "independent" foreign policy and not back down before American pressure has chosen to stay quiet when the country is facing real pressure from a certain other powerful nation. No guesses why that might be so but I would still like to hear what the folks at the paper have to say.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Senile monkey Mu Ka blathers on Raja

If there's any doubt about Mu Ka (CM of TN) senility, it was removed with his statement Action against Raja if charges are proved .
The DMK believes that he has not committed any mistake. We are not prepared to abandon him until the charges against him are proved

Guess he wants an iron clad written document viewed and notarized and video taped with proof of blood sample witnessed by 3 reputable people (none from AIADMK). Where's LiC to make a statement on this ridiculous BS from Mu Ka?

Vidya on Radia tapes

Easily one of the best articles written by her, Vidya Subrahmaniam demonstrates that she has the ability. I am not going to pick any particular sentence to highlight. I strongly urge you to read the article in full.

And to Vidya and the brigade at chindu, I hope you realize that you are committing the grassroots media version of the same mistake.
The Hindu : Opinion / Leader Page Articles : The cosy world behind the tapes

Launching who the @#$% cares series

Often cHindu is guilty of publishing obscure articles which add no value of news or importance to 99.999% of its readers (you might make a case that every editorial is, but thats a different argument).
So to start of with who the @#$% cares here's the first article -
Chinese research ship embarks on year-long global voyage
I'm looking for your suggestions and hope to make this a quasi-regular post series.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Chellaney names corruption as security threat no.1

This is really a thought provoking article by Brahma Chellaney - Perils of becoming a republic of scandals
Corruption, No. 1 national security threat, is eating into the vitals of the state, enfeebling internal security and crimping foreign policy. India confronts several pressing national security threats. But only one of them — political corruption — poses an existential threat to the state, which in reality has degenerated into a republic of mega-scandals.

We will analyze and post our thoughts, in the meanwhile we will look to your thoughts on this.

Narayan Lakshman details links between Commies and Jihadists

Interesting article on cHindu on "China blocked U.N. sanctions against terror group at Pakistan's behest" as released by Wikileaks.

Until the Mumbai terror attacks of November 2008, China, “at the behest of Pakistan,” blocked the United Nations Security Council from listing Jamaat-ud-Dawa, widely acknowledged as a front for the militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, under the UNSC Resolution 1267. LeT has been held responsible for the Mumbai attacks.

The United States' frustration with China for impeding sanctions against JuD through the UN Committee on al-Qaeda- and Taliban-associated entities was made evident in a recent cable, classified as “Secret,” from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Thanks to Xinhua Ram for the note.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Wikileaks new site

You might have already noticed that the original wikileaks site is not accessible. It has moved to a new location. The New Delhi Embassy dispatches are here. There are not many now but hopefully, soon we will have the 3000+ cables. If nothing else, we will good fodder for conspiracy theories. I doubt whether it will have any meaningful political impact. For example, it says here about Rahul:

Swiss magazine Schweizer Illustrierte [2] in 11 November 1991 revealed that Rahul was the beneficiary of accounts worth $2 billion dollars controlled by his mother Sonia Gandhi.[38][39]

Harvard scholar Yevgenia Albats cited KGB correspondence about payments to Rajiv Gandhi and his family, which had been arranged by Viktor Chebrikov,[40][41][42] which shows that KGB chief Viktor Chebrikov sought in writing an "authorization to make payments in US dollars to the family members of Rajiv Gandhi, namely Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Paola Maino, mother of Sonia Gandhi" from the CPSU in December 1985. Payments were authorized by a resolution, CPSU/CC/No 11228/3 dated 20/12/1985; and endorsed by the USSR Council of Ministers in Directive No 2633/Rs dated 20/12/1985. These payments had been coming since 1971, as payments received by Sonia Gandhi's family and "have been audited in CPSU/CC resolution No 11187/22 OP dated 10/12/1984.[40] In 1992 the media confronted the Russian government with the Albats disclosure. The Russian government confirmed the veracity of the disclosure and defended it as necessary for "Soviet ideological interest."[41][42]

Did it have any impact on the dynasty?

I read the below and wondered why Menon was discussing elections with Hoolbrooke.
Wikileaks Cable Viewer
Menon also offered that he did not believe the Mumbai attacks themselves would play a major role in India’s upcoming elections, because efforts to capitalize politically on such a heinous event would likely backfire on any political party.

Rajdeep cries lynch-mobs

Rajdeep Sardesai seems to be unable to make up his mind on this issue. His loyalties force him to support Barkha and Sanghvi. He is trying the usual tricks by trying to deflect an introspection of journalism by pointing fingers at corporate corruption. He is also calling those not steadfastly standing behind Barkha and Sanghvi as lynch-mob.

I have often pointed out that the media has been beyond scrutiny. The result is visible in the corruption in media. They have set such high standards of corruption that the politicians and corporates are struggling to cope up. While politicians are forced to resign when accused in a scandal, there is no retribution for journalists. Did you see anyone being hanged for paid news? The story was quietly buried. Even with barkhagate, the stalwart journalists are trying to frame the question in terms of corporate corruption. If it were really about corporate corruption, I wonder how many breaking stories did we hear from these stalwart journalists on corporate corruption?
It is also funny to see Rajdeep Sardesai contradicting his own editorial policies on trial by media. He accepts that the he did not live by the dictum of innocent until proven guilty but now wants the whole world to follow this principle for these two.
The Hindu : National : Post-Radia, a fierce debate on media ethics
Mr. Sardesai also remarked that the response in the case of Ms. Dutt and Mr. Sanghvi had been lynch-mobbish, with their being judged guilty without any reference to their journalistic track records. “The fundamental principle of jurisprudence, that you are innocent until proven guilty, has been reversed here,” he said, adding there was an element of professional jealousy in the chorus of voices raised against them.
IBNLive : Rajdeep Sardesai's Blog : Rajdeep Sardesai: Trial by media stings journos
But they certainly do not justify the kind of lynch-mob outrage that has accompanied their disclosure.
In recent times, the media has lived by the dictum of guilty till proven innocent. Guess the concept of trial by media has now come back to sting the media itself!

You can watch Sardesai's speech here: Part 1 and 2. What brazenness to say that the focus should not be on media ethics and that Barkha has done no wrong. He also finds that the only corruption involved in the tapes is relating to BJP changing the speaker! Incorrigible.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Alternate history - Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer as President

Hat tip to Sudhir for pointing this out.
In what is a nostalgic post about former President R.Venkatraman, Gopalkrishna Gandhi waxes eloquent on the noble qualities of the former President of India. One interesting plot twist was that V.R. Krishna Iyer (a fave writer who gets quoted on this blog) was nominated by the Communists against RV.
The Congress under Rajiv Gandhi nominated Vice-President Venkataraman as its candidate for the office being vacated by Giani Zail Singh. The Left fielded the esteemed Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer. “Iyer v/s Iyer,” the shallow wag commented.

In some alternate universe, its possible that VRK won that election, hell frozen over and Indian becoming a state of China (not that it might not happen in the future).
But its an interesting event none the less.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

S.Rajendran a beneficiary in the land scam

Two striking aspects in this article by S.Rajendran:
1. The focus of the article is not about BJP's involvement in some scam. The headline calling BJP scam-struck is sounding more like an attempt to bring it on
par with Congress, which is wading from one scam to another.
2. Right through the article, S.Rajendran is suggesting a sinister motive behind BJP's investigation into corruption in the past. Alas, the spotlight is finally on the journalists and the readers are suspecting the motivations behind such articles, especially when they are written to favour the dynasty's party.
Curiously enough, one S.Rajendran, a journalist, was a beneficiary under the G category. My guess is that the CM who allotted it under his discretionary quota is not Yeddyurappa.
The Hindu : Front Page : Scam-struck BJP takes it out on Deve Gowda
Scam-struck BJP takes it out on Deve Gowda
To strike at Mr. Gowda, the government has used the ruse that it has
preferred a CID investigation, based on a High Court directive to the
Chief Secretary in a public interest litigation petition.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Wikileaks Release: The Hindu Edits Out Key Parts of The Guardian's News Item

Today's lead news item in The Hindu is a verbatim reproduction of The Guardian's front page news about the Wikileaks documents. However the most substantive and interesting elements of the The Guardian's item dealing with Afghan corruption, Chinese perfidy, the Putin/Berlusconi relationship and of Saudi donors bankrolling Al Qaeda have all been removed. Here are a few paragraphs mentioned in The Guardian's item not found in The Hindu version:

  • Suspicions of corruption in the Afghan government, with one cable alleging that vice-president Zia Massoud was carrying $52m in cash when he was stopped during a visit to the United Arab Emirates. Massoud denies taking money out of Afghanistan.
  • How the hacker attacks which forced Google to quit China in January were orchestrated by a senior member of the Politburo who typed his own name into the global version of the search engine and found articles criticizing him personally.
  • The extraordinarily close relationship between Vladimir Putin, the Russian prime minister, and Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister, which is causing intense US suspicion. Cables detail allegations of "lavish gifts", lucrative energy contracts and the use by Berlusconi of a "shadowy" Russian-speaking Italian go-between.
The Guardian's item reads "The cables name Saudi donors as the biggest financiers of terror groups...". The Hindu has changed that to read "The cables name countries involved in financing terror groups...". The reference to Washington's agreement with the government of Yemen to cover up the use of US aircraft to bomb Al Qaeda targets in that country has been omitted.

The omission of China and Saudi Arabia are easily explained but I am not sure about the rest.

Update: Thanks to Ananthkrishnan for clarifying on twitter that The Hindu has carried these facts (mentioned in the above post as being omitted) in its international news page. This is a link to that item taken from the New York Times.

Sidd V blasts corporate India - editorial on Radia scam

This blog has not been kind on Sidd V and we don't plan on being so anytime soon. However we do tip our hat every time there is a hard hitting post on the cHindu and it is our hope that they become the norm than the exception. So when Sidd Varadarajan hammers corporate India's ability to spin yarns on the Indian population by buying ministerships,spectrums etc. that is exactly the hard hitting article we wanted cHindu to publish a week back when the issue was hot.
In one of the tapes, an unidentified interlocutor asks Ms Radia, whose clients include both Mr. Tata and Mukesh Ambani, why “you people [i.e. the Mukesh Ambani group] are supporting [Raja] like anything ... when the younger brother [Anil Ambani] is the biggest beneficiary of the so called spectrum allocation”. “Issue bahut complex hai,” Ms Radia replies. “Mere client Tatas bhi beneficiary rahein hain (my client, the Tatas, have also been a beneficiary).”
Apart from telecom, the tapes also provide valuable insight into the gas dispute between the two Ambani brothers. This was a dispute in which Mukesh Ambani made skillful use of the “gas is a national resource” argument with a pliant media even as he used his influence with individual MPs to try and orchestrate a massive tax concession for his company from the same national resource, Krishna-Godavari (KG) basin natural gas.

The entire article strikes hard at the nexus between the various parties and companies involved to keep key players involved (or in the case of Marans excluded) to ensure certain benefits were accrued.
The key gripe here on this article is that it does not focus on the DMK infighting and involvement in the entire affair given A. Raja was the other key focal point. Lets see if there's going to be some follow up in the near future.

Interesting interview with Hurriyats Geelani on Kashmir protests

Check out an interesting interview by Nirupama Subramanian with Syed Geelani of the Kashmiri Hurriyat.
The key reason this is interesting more so from the aggressive questioning by Nirupama who does not really give way to the usual bluster shown by journalists when facing Geelani. His penchant for turning any interview into a propaganda session is quickly blunted by Nirupama to focus on the issues and puts him on the back foot. It is always difficult trying to interview a crazy zealot at his home, but Nirupama acquits herself and cHindu credibly with as incisive a session possible.
One does wish she couldv'e called out Geelani on the phony Kashmiriyat issue. But thats a topic for another discussion.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Rahul Gandhi compares Modi to Mao

The charming prince compares Modi to Mao. This should automatically endear Modi to chindu, even though Rahul Gandhi called Mao "evil". But chindu just ignores it and, following in the tradition of sycophancy, gives the "cleanest" account of what transpired in Mr.Gandhi's meeting.
The Hindu : States / Other States : Rahul: Manmohan is ‘the cleanest man' in national politics
Asked about three “most honest and non-corrupt politicians” in the country, Mr. Gandhi after Mr. Singh named the Defence Minister, A.K. Antony, and the Union Home Minister, P. Chidambaram.
The media was not allowed to attend any of Mr. Gandhi's meetings with the youth and student leaders held in Ahmedabad followed by similar sessions in Rajkot and Vadodara
So, lets get the original, un-scrubbed version of how the meeting went:
Rahul Gandhi compares 'evil leader' Narendra Modi with Mao - India - DNA
“Many an evil leaders have done great developmental work.” He then went on to compare Modi with Chinese leader Mao Zedong.
The interaction turned stormy when Rahul made some sharp remarks on Modi
Some of the participants of the students’ meet who were uncomfortable with criticism of Modi by Rahul then confronted him with questions about how justified was his effort to bring democracy within the Congress party, when he himself has risen to power because of dynastic politics.
Perceiving the mood of the audience, local leaders wound up the session in a hurry.
Some students also complained that the organisers snatched away mikes from them. Rahul made a swift exit without entering into a debate with the students over Modi.
The 700 students had taken their seats well before 8:30 am, but Rahul arrived only around 11:00 am, ostensibly because of a delayed flight. He addressed the students for about 40 minutes.
Most of the students were looking forward to a long interaction session with the Congress’s youth icon, but only three students could ask him question.
If you are wondering why the media was blacked out of Rahul Gandhi's interactive sessions with the youth, watch this video to get an idea:

Rahul Gandhi - Interacts with students in Darbhanga

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Setalvad caught in falsifying evidence 4 Gujarat riots

Karma is often a bitch, you reap what you sow. Setalvad and her "secular" cronies along with the Indian MSM have been trumpeting about how minorities were being hunted down and killed during the Gujarat Godhra riots following the train carrying Hindu pilgrims was burnt down.
Slowly revelations from various sources have come out about how Setalvad had falsified evidence, coerced witnesses, created and fed stories to the media.
Now comes more news about how she hacked the email accounts of one of the witnesses and fed stories.
To find out who was responsible for “manipulating” the affidavits, Mr. Pathan had reportedly requested the commission to direct the cybercrime police to retrieve his e-mail ID which, he alleged, was hacked by Ms. Setalvad. He claimed that he used to receive the “fabricated affidavits” of various witnesses from Ms. Setalvad, of which he took copies and submitted before the courts and commission.

Not only did she hack the accounts but paid off witnesses,
Mr. Pathan also alleged that Ms. Setalvad was trying to manipulate witnesses through use of money. As in-charge of CJP operations in Ahmedabad since 2002, he had been responsible for disbursing funds received by the CJP from various agencies for the benefit of the riot victims. But, he claimed, Ms. Setalvad gave priority to the witnesses rather than to the victims in payments. According to his affidavit, Ms. Setalvad paid Rs. 50,000- Rs. 1 lakh per witness, while the victims were paid only Rs. 5,000 each.

Of course some credit to cHindu for covering the incident, but where's Sidd V now? He who was shouting from the rooftops about how minorities were targeted based on stories he heard from people like Setalvad. Where is the humble response that he might be wrong? I'm not going to wait for that to happen.
However interestingly, it appears that Setalvad might've been separated at birth from another pompous person in the film industry, choreographer/director Farah Khan.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

How to spin Bihar results 101 by LiC

This is for anyone who thinks LiC has integrity, though being a biased journalist.
How does anyone honorable tip their hat if the group they ideologically support has been beaten, thrashed beyond the point of recognition in an election?
That's not the approach cHindu and its "fearless" leader LiC take when Nitish Kumar lead NDA alliance swept the Bihar polls. The margins of victory in all regions of the state across all communities was a surprise to most pundits. LiC however presents a biased view painting Nitish Kumar as some sort of "secular" hero of the masses.
In the place of the casteist vote-bank politics of Lalu Prasad's Rashtriya Janata Dal, he offered the people a new vision, the hope of economic growth and sustained development. Chief Minister Kumar spent the last five years trying to steer towards development one of India's most socio-economically backward States. At the end of his first term, he could report success in building infrastructure facilities, investing in school education, boosting medical care in rural areas, and cracking down on crime. For the people of Bihar, who endured 15 years of stagnation and deterioration of law and order under Lalu-Rabri rule, this was a welcome change. Not surprisingly, the 2010 election saw renewed voter interest, and a surge in the participation of women voters. Mr. Kumar not only cut into the support base of his political rivals; he also seems to have won over sections of the hitherto politically indifferent.

Of course managing the victory without taking potshots at the BJP was irresistible.
But the BJP, with its deeply divisive agenda, could also have been a serious electoral handicap. Mr. Kumar shrewdly kept his distance from controversial BJP leaders without damaging the alliance.

Any responsible journalist would have kept the focus on responsible governance and the failings of Lalu and company. Or for that matter the "leadership" shown by Rahul Gandhi and the Congress who were nearly wiped out in the state. But LiC chooses to gloss over these facts. Its sad that someone so experienced chooses ideology over ethics time and again.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Rasheeda Bhagat of The Business Line exposes media hypocrisy

During the whole #barkhagate or 2G scandal or Nira Radia imbroglio the Indian media has played it incredibly safe. Not wanting to move an inch against the key media members involved, most of the journalists perhaps held by some 'Omerta' or honor code or intimidation by higher powers have stone walled.
However in what is really a landmark initiative shown by vigilant citizens leveraging the power of social networking tools - Blogs, Tweets etc. have forced the media to cover this issue.
Props have to go to cHindu's Rasheeda Bhagat who writes for the the Business Line exposes the media hypocrisy in this article - Those living in glass houses….

Our TV channel debates are infamous for their high decibel levels and, on some channels, the anchors out-shout everybody else on the show. But all these channels, their anchors and expert commentators have gone into silent mode since the Radia tapes have aired in public the participation of some top-notch media personalities in animated conversations pertaining to the formation of the UPA-II government. The main hitch then, it may be recalled, pertained to the DMK demanding more than what the Congress was willing to offer. There were also issues pertaining to internal wrangles within the first family of the Dravidian party.

The entire article is written with a brutal honesty one looks for cHindu to provide. By giving more credit to Rasheeda here we would be praising someone for sticking up to their journalistic ethics which is wrong.
But it deserves to be recognized when her peers have chosen silence to exposing the truth.

Monday, November 22, 2010

cHindu-NDTV silence on barkhagate- Friends with benefits

Hat tip to KVSarma for identifying this unholy alliance and appropriately coining the phrase FWB.
The rooted silence on the barkhagate scandal, stoic defense of A.Raja, denial of any existence of Nira Radia, all leads to one question why? Simple answer the cHindu NDTV alliance. Its akin to 'Honor among thieves'. NDTV is the media "Godfather" and has collected many chips and its collecting them by means of total blackout (barring few non-consequential discussions) into this issue. In all likelihood it will provide some information to the JPC or whatever committee and in return be promised some minor slap in the wrist (no impacts to Government advertising).

Alternative Theory by Pilid (Which I have shamelessly copied from the comments)
The alternative explanation for cHindu's silence is the involvement of senior DMK figures. Perhaps it is some of both. Also senior folks in The Hindu have themselves acted as "conduits of information"; in fact Malini Parthasarathy defended accused journos on twitter on this ground. So the sympathy is understandable not to mention accusations would have amounted to the pot calling the kettle black. Also, the censorship is not unusual for The Hindu; most other major media outlets have not carried the item either. So the explanation for silence may lie in their loyalty to the broader fraternity of powerbroker/journalists.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Arundhati Roy refuses to apologize for her support to Kashmir jihadists

In what comes as no surprise as a reaction to the Sangh opposition to her comments, Arundhati Roy continues her quest to support the jihadist agenda of the Kashmiri separatists.
I have never said anything which I have not thought about,” Ms. Roy told journalists after attending a meeting on ‘Cultural resistance to war on people in corporate interest.They [Sangh Parivar activists] have rights to protest, and I have rights to speak and write.

Of course cHindu reports the whole article as though the Sangh activists were creating trouble at a peaceful meeting ignoring the larger context of Ms. Roy's statements. But who ever accused cHindu of being a fair newspaper?

In another article the "peaceful" leader of Sri Lanka again claims to look forward to growth and peace. He asks people to forget the past stating:
They must help us not to widen the gap between the communities but to bring them closer. The past is past; you don't dig into the wounds. We must think positively, not negatively.

CNN 2010 Hero of the year named

In a time of greedy politicians, irresponsible members of the media it is heartening to see there are people who are serving fellow human beings. Anuradha Koirala who leads an effort to fight human trafficking (Maiti Nepal) was from chosen among 10 heroes as the CNN 2010 Hero of the year. It is indeed a worthy cause to be supported.
There was a sizable online support by various sites for Narayanan Krishnan of Madurai who,
brings hot meals and dignity to India's homeless and destitute -- 365 days per year -- through his nonprofit Akshaya Trust. Since 2002, he has served more than 1.2 million meals.

If you want to get involved, check out the Akshaya Trust website and see how to help.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Blame the process not Raja - LiC

Hat tip to reader Balaji for pointing this out.
If you read any cHindu article or editorial you will find some editorializing going on. Even if say a dog bit a old woman Bangalore, cHindu would probably tie it to the BJP government's lack of social responsibility. However in the case of what appears to be one of the biggest scandals in Indian Parliament history cHindu has staunchly supported the DMK and A.Raja ('A' standing for acidic, acerbic?)
Now LiC from his perch in Anna Salai comes out and blames the process of allotting the spectrum as the culprit and not any one individual. Its a bit like blaming the German judicial system for the Holocaust and not Hitler. Or Indian Army for losing the Indo-Chinese war of 1962 and not Nehru. It sets a wrong precedent
of future allotment of blame in such scandals.
The integrity of the process always determines the quality of the product that comes out of it. If a process is wrong, the product seldom turns out right. It is now a common conclusion that the procedure for the allocation of spectrum in 2007-08 for the second generation (2G) telecom services was flawed, and grossly so. When there were many more aspirants for the licences than there was frequency spectrum, and an auction should have been the obvious method to decide on the winners, the licences were handed out instead in a non-transparent, first-come-first-served basis and at a low price set seven years earlier.

Hindsight is indeed 20-20. Where is the issue of incompetence of A.Raja and his steadfast refusal to resign?
Or for that matter the kickbacks he received?
The Manmohan Singh government has no option but to take serious note of the glaring non-performance by these companies. Perhaps it was inevitable they would fail, because as the CAG discovered, many of these companies did not have any experience in telecommunications. Revoking their licences would therefore be a rational and appropriate response.

If this is a cover-up article aimed at fooling the reading public of cHindu, then LiC better start packing his desk.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

CAG report on 2G scam lacks rationality

When was the last time a politician confessed to a crime? Why is N.Ram so keen to mention that A.Raja has denied any wrongdoing? If it is not obvious enough, N.Ram states that A.Raja has only followed a well-established policy. N.Ram has effectively passed the not-guilty verdict on A.Raja.
The Hindu : Opinion / Editorials : Heed the call
While denying any wrongdoing, he has insisted that he was persisting with a well-established policy in handing out 2G spectrum on a first-come first-served basis, instead of taking the auction route. This is no doubt true but serious questions relating to procedural irregularities and revenue losses remain.
As if this wasn't enough, N.Ram now resorts to veiled attacks. The letters question CAG's intentions and some others conclude  that if A.Raja is wrong, then we are all wrong.
The Comptroller and Auditor-General of India's observation of presumptive loss allegedly caused by the irregularities in the allocation of 2G Spectrum in 2008 lacks rationality. It has resulted only in sensationalism. One wonders whether the CAG can review government policies.
The CAG report is based on perception and forecast with a lot of ‘if's and ‘but's.
Can we take action against the Food Minister for foodgrains rotting in government warehouses?
If A. Raja is to be punished for causing a great loss to the exchequer, the Finance Minister, the Petroleum Minister, and all other Ministers should take responsibility for the policies that cause losses to the exchequer and resign.
They give rise to doubts that some sections of the media, controlled by the upper class, are bent on maligning even Cabinet Ministers on the basis of their caste.
I would have thought the reference to caste prejudices was uncalled for.

As Kanchan Gupta said, most scams are in the order of crores but A.Raja's scam is in percentage of GDP. A. Surya Prakash said that 1.76 lakh crores is the price Manmohan Singh has made us pay just so that he may remain in office. And what do we hear?: "Dr. Singh comes across as a leader whose integrity cannot be suspected."

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Krishna links Kashmir to Tibet and Taiwan

Finally an Indian minister (SM Krishna) tells the Chinese that if they increase their interference in Jammu and Kashmir, India would raise its voice on Tibet and Taiwan.
Drawing a dramatic parallel between the territorial red lines of both countries, India on Sunday told China that just as New Delhi had been sensitive to its concerns over the Tibet Autonomous Region and Taiwan, Beijing too should be mindful of Indian sensitivities on Jammu and Kashmir.

Having followed our foreign policy which has been pitiful in recent years, this is a welcome change that someone has grown a pair and tells China to mind its business.

Comparing Suu Kyi and Benazir

Some wise person said, "History is written by the winners". cHindu proves that a very insane short sighted media in the modern age is redefining how history is being written. Nirupama Subramanian in her piece Two daughters of the East, their different flight paths details a weird comparison of Nobel winner Suu Kyi and former Pak PM Benazir.
The larger context is vague, since anyone could make a comparison between two people like for example George Bush with Abraham Lincoln or Nehru with Lee Kuan Yew and so on. This article intends no disrespect to the dead but one should look at facts.
Nirupama has portrayed a very favorable impression of Benazir as a leader who tried to transform Pakistan into a vibrant democracy belied by the Army. She seeks to conveniently forget that this is the same Benazir who ordered the support for Kashmir militancy and increased funding to the ISI and growth of the Taliban in the 90s. Or the fact that her husband and current PM Zardari, has by most accounts, been the alleged lynchpin of corruption in the Pakistani Government (think his nickname was Mr. Ten Percent or something).
The expectation was that she and Gen. Musharraf would rule Pakistan together, she as the Prime Minister and he as President. That would have eased the world's conscience as it supported a military ruler seen by the West as essential to its plans in the region. He had become extremely unpopular in Pakistan but Benazir's democratic credentials were to come to his and the world's rescue.

Whats next Nirupama, comparing Rahul with Obama?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Hypocrisy on freedom of speech

Let us look at 2 recent examples, one where a person lambasts an entire nation and another where a person questions the allegiance of one person. Guess where there has been a debate on freedom of speech?
There is very little equanimity in these cases. Sonia Gandhi has been an extra constitutional authority and has wielded significant influence over the nation's largest party without ever being honest about her past or current. Hell she has not even been open with the media, rarely giving interviews.
I understand the significance of libel, but when the media is acting irresponsibly capitulating on the Congress' holier than thou attitude it is incredibly annoying.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Different monkey same tune- cHindu presents Atul Aneja

Just when one thought all the tunes of the Obama visit were played and completed on the cHindu, starting with the US bashing, Indian servitude and moving on to cautious optimism but balanced support for China, Atul Aneja comes along and plays cHindu's longstanding view on the war on terror.
Theme 1:
cHinduism - War on terror is an imaginary war as there are no terrorists in the world.
While the two foiled plots out ofYemen are counted by many in the West as battles won, victory in the war on terror is nowhere on the horizon. On the contrary, the tactics in the counter-terror campaign are alienating and radicalising many Muslims across the globe, especially in West Asia and Europe.

Perhaps the author is not aware of the "peace" camps organized by LeT, Taliban, Al Qaeda across the border.
Theme 2:
cHinduism - America is the existential cause of terror.
Terrorism breeds on hatred of the American. Unless the animosity towards the U.S. is diminished, the threat of a grandiose and carefully planned terror strike that will sow fear and rage in the collective western psyche and further polarise a deeply divided globe cannot be ruled out.

Perhaps Atul should read terror plots and attacks in nations like India, Russia, England, Pakistan...
Theme 3:
cHinduism - America is still evil, but Barack Obama can magically create peace between the Islamic world and the radical America and its friends the Jewish nation of Israel.
Obama may have no choice but boldly re-engaging with West Asia, irrespective of the sweeping resistance he encounters from mainstream Israel and its neoconservative and Christian-Right allies in the U.S., who are so inextricably tied to the highly partisan but emboldened Republican Party.

Theme 4:
cHinduism - Muslims are driven to terror by America's wars and have no hate otherwise.
..his (Obama's) will not be easy to accomplish, as the psyche of the people in the region is still traumatised by the images of torture in Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison, and the horror stories emerging out of the detention facility in Guantanamo Bay.

After so many years again the same BS of fragile Muslim psyche driving them into terror is ridiculous. Why are we not seeing so many other people driven to violent behaviors attacking unrelated folks? Similarly the rabid support (by cHindu) of the radical nation of Iran which has demonstrated irresponsibly setting up a clandestine nuclear weapons program shows the hypocrisy of LiC and his cohorts.
Similarly the blind support for the terrorist groups of Palestine shows cHindu's bias towards Islamic terrorist networks who don't have any peaceful intentions.
Thus with great pomp, I hereby declare Atul Aneja for the Jackass of the week.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Koenraad Elst rebuts Guha's assertions on Ayodhya and others

Interesting article on how Koenraad Elst rebuts Guha's assertions on Ayodhya and others.
Guha's point being:
“At the height of the Ayodhya movement, the Sangh Parivar circulated, at vast expense, the writings of an obscure Belgian ex-priest which claimed that Hindus had been victimised for thousands of years by Muslims and Christians, and that destroying a mosque, building a temple in its place, and sacrificing thousands of (mostly innocent) lives along the way was the only way that this cumulative historical injustice could be avenged. This ex-priest had little training as a historian, and even less credibility. But unlike the other similarly untrained ideologues of the Hindu Right, his citizenship was not Indian, but Belgian. The hope was that the colour of his skin would trump the shallowness of his arguments.”

And Elst's response;
As for the colour of my skin, it is his own school that has been using its white connections for decades as an implicit argument of authority. It seems that white people on average are quite silly, for most of them have lapped up the version of Indian history propagated by India’s “eminent historians” whose eminence results from their toeing the hegemonic party-line rather than from a respect for the data in the primary sources. Anyone with normal intelligence regardless of skin colour can sort out their distortions by using proper historical method.
In the meantime, my position has been endorsed by the Allahabad High Court, the one reasonably impartisan institution that has held both argumentations against the light. After availing itself of the best archaeological expertise, it has ruled in favour of the old consensus, upheld until 1989 by all sources but denied since then by Guha’s circles, viz. that Ayodhya is indeed a case of Hindu victimization by Muslims through the imposition of a mosque on a Hindu sacred site in forcible replacement of a temple.

Its a very interesting dialogue to be followed. Do check it out and follow Koenraad's blog as well.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Coverage of Nobel Winner Liu Xiabo by Ananth Krishnan

Recently I was provided a few links detailing the coverage of Nobel Winner Liu Xiabo by Ananth Krishnan.

The last article is particularly noteworthy since Ananth provides a balanced coverage of both sides views on the issue and the plight of the Nobel prize winner.
Friday’s statement from the Norwegian Nobel Committee called on China to guarantee freedom of expression and human rights. While China had achieved economic advances without equal in history, and also broadened political participation, its "new status must entail increased responsibility", the statement said.

"Article 35 of China's constitution lays down that “Citizens of the People's Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration"," it added. "In practice, these freedoms have proved to be distinctly curtailed for China’s citizens."

One looks forward for more articles to be published in The Hindu and in particular by Ananth who has a unique position in being able to be on site to provide such viewpoints.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Haunted by Nehru

"(India was offered a permanent seat on the council 55 years ago, in 1955. But that offer, made by the U.S. and the Soviet Union, was declined by India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. Nerhu said the seat should be given to China instead.)"

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Valuable news item of the day

This was reported in cHindu today.
An unidentified man on Saturday jumped into the sea from the Bandra-Worli Sea Link bridge after throwing a suspicious object into the water, police said.

Talk about accurate news reporting.

Pompous braggart Siddarth Varadarajan is a US Citizen

Lookee here, the pompous braggart Siddharth Varadarajan with the cHindu who is always advising India to be vary of the "big bad wolf" US, but can be friends with "peaceful" Pakistan or "friendly" China (excuse my quotatations here, I'm following Sidd's journalistic style) is a US Citizen.
As per the Indian Press Information Bureau is:
The Press Information Bureau (PIB) is the nodal agency of the Government of India to disseminate information to the print and electronic media on government policies, programmes, initiatives and achievements. It functions as an interface between the Government and the media and also serves to provide feedback to the Government on people�s reaction as reflected in the media.

It has a news release which was pointed to us by an Anonymous contributor to this blog some time back -->
This states that Mr. Varadarajan is a US Citizen.

Sitting on top of an ivory tower and spouting advice to the natives is apparently an easy job.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Fear mongering and excessive quotations

Maybe Siddharth Varadarajan got dumped by a supermodel once, or perhaps dropped on his head as a baby. It might seek to explain his tactless rantings against the US moving towards closer relations with India. The whole article A partnership built on flawed assumptions is written like a movie on self loathing. The principal hero being an up and comer is approached by a out of his league girl and rather than build a relationship with the girl (knowing her motives and furthering his), he would try double guessing the principles of the girl. Not to mention the comic buddy who tries to point at the girl's flaws to make him fall for his ugly sister instead.
The U.S. sees the macro growth data and has a fair idea of where India will be in economic terms two decades from now. It sees the rise and wants to get in at the ground floor. This was the meaning behind the gratuitous promise, made during the presidency of George W. Bush, of helping India emerge as a world power.

Abysmal writing style
Anyone reading Sidd V's writing style knows that he's the master of using unnecessary super grandiloquent invectives akin to using a samurai sword where a butter knife would suffice. Now he adds a new tool to the arsenal, the super quotations. Believing that an article would have more depth if it had the needed sarcasm, almost every punch line has a couple of sarcastic adjectives. For example in this article,

For all its appeals to “shared values” like democracy as a counter to China
the development of capitalism in India than in the rest of the “free world”.
But India is not in need of that “help”.
They are also upset with India's reluctance to sign “foundational” defence
One test of the Indo-U.S. “strategic partnership” will be if it is able to survive an Indian refusal
While the “unreliability” of the Americans is not in dispute

You would have thought that anyone with a modicum of understanding of journalism would have the sense to temper the theme of the article without dousing it completely in unnecessary demarcated sarcasm where subtlety would've been effective.
So we award Sidd V the "Glorious writer of the week" award here.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Happy Diwali to our fellow bloggers and contributors

We wish our fellow bloggers and contributors to this blog (i.e. our readers who often give us the inspiration and insight I sometimes blatantly plagiarize :)) a very happy Diwali.
May the light of Diwali diminish the darkness of Indian media creeping on India.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Celebrating birthdays - super legal mind Krishna Iyer turns 95

I knew cHindu's favorite legal mind, Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer was old.
But until CodeNameV pointed out, I did not know he was 95 years old.
His birthday was celebrated by a bunch of his legal cronies and chelas:
The birthday was celebrated by the Sarada Krishna Satgamaya Foundation for Law and Justice, named after Justice Iyer's wife who died several years ago, by launching the Justice Krishna Iyer lecture series at a public ceremony. The series was inaugurated by Chief Justice of India Sarosh Homi Kapadia. Justice Kapadia, who called Justice Iyer a ‘great son of India,' said he had never dreamt that he would one day be sitting with Justice Iyer.

If the Chief Justice speaks such rubbish one can only be scared of the verdicts he delivers on a daily basis. Sadly the article does not provide us any "enlightening" thoughts from the birthday boy ;)

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

MKB on India-U.S. ties

M.K.Bhadrakumar showed more than keen interest in espousing China's cause on the pages of People's Daily of China. He plays the same tune while evaluating India-U.S. ties. Funnily enough, he doesn't realise he is playing up the imaginary threat of U.S. And he blames the pundits for not downplaying the near and imminent threat to India from China.
The Hindu : Opinion / Leader Page Articles : Time for reset of India-U.S. ties
China already figures in the U.S. cross hairs and India needs to carefully figure out when its turn might come.
The lobby of American arms manufacturers played up China's growing
diplomatic and military clout and the angst of our pundits poured out on
newspaper columns.

The liberal democracy of Saudi Arabia's new workplace rules

There are few nations which seldom disappoint in ensuring that their standing in the nations around are kept high (or in the abyss in this case).
Saudi Arabia in this case shows its fervent stand in ensuring workplace equality between men and women is imposed strictly per the law. Only that in this case, the law or Sharia states that women should not be allowed to work with men.
The official fatwa issuing body said “it is not permissible for a woman to work in a place where they mix with men,” said the news website
“It is necessary to keep away from places where men congregate.
Women should look for decent work that does not make it possible for them to attract men or be attracted by men,” it said.The ruling was unambiguous, and signed by Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh, head of the Senior Scholars Council, and six other members of the fatwa committee.

Waiting for cHindu and progressive leader N.Ram to come up with an editorial praising the religion of peace.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

N.Ram opposes triple talaq

In a rare display of courage, N.Ram writes against the practise of talaq, calling it regressive, arbitrary and undemocratic. Earlier, N.Ram called the burqa an oppressive garment. Are we seeing a change of heart? I bet not. It will be interesting to hear what he thinks of alimony, an issue linked to talaq and highlighted in Shah Bano case.  When the issue resurfaced recently, there was the usual denial from N.Ram and the media.
The Hindu : Opinion / Editorials : Divorce in a trice
... reflects the regressive tendency among a section of the Muslim clergy to support the practice of triple talaq. This arbitrary form of divorce, which gives Muslim men the right to divorce their wives instantaneously by uttering or writing the word ‘talaq' thrice, has no place in a modern democratic society.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Dancing with the devil - Indo-Chinese meeting

Every Indian Chink meeting is given an aura similar to a teenage girl reviewing a Twilight movie by cHindu's writers. Case in point, Ananth Krishnan's love fest detailing the recent meeting.
With a flourish of a drunken geezer, he quotes some dolt in a Chink think tank.
“This meeting is very significant, as it has become increasingly important for both sides to better communicate their interests,” Rong Ying, vice-president of the China Institute of International Studies (CIIS), an influential think tank, told The Hindu on Thursday.

Really and I thought the Indian Chinese meetings were to exchange dinner recipes.
He then goes on banally to detail the problems between the 2 nations,
Officials here acknowledge that a lack of trust has been particularly evident in recent months, as the year designated to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties became marked by a series of diplomatic disputes.

The article goes on to perpetuate a set of views by diplomats and provides no insight barring this last douche. Shen Dingli, a leading strategic analyst at Fudan University who stated,
“I hope China, Pakistan and India would have maturity in developing win-win-win relationships.” On suggestions that China itself was concerned over increasing U.S. influence in Pakistan, and hence recently accelerated its engagement there, he said: “Some people may have that concern, but I think there are positives out of the U.S. relationship with Pakistan, too.”

Win-win-win relationship between a disorganized democracy, an Islamic terrorist fundamentalist and a pseudo Communist dictatorship? Keep dreaming Ananth, perhaps you will develop some writing skills out of thin air as well.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Hiding behind technicalities - Arundhati Roy charges

Being a journalist in many parts of the world is a tough job. Not wanting to banal, other than the TV heads and the heads of print media, most of the remaining journos have to fight multiple things like competition, lack of imagination, lack of news, reader fatigue to publish good stories. However given a great story like wacky "intellectual" Arundhati Roy pushing for separation of Kashmir from India, N.Ram and his team of jackasses publish what is probably the most banal articles possible titled '‘Sedition' versus free speech '.
Defending Ms.Roy for her treasonous activities, LiC initiates his salvo at the BJP,
It is deplorable that three sentences uttered at a seminar relating to the status of Kashmir within India should have evoked such zealous hyper-patriotic anger and resulted in demands for invoking harsh sedition laws.

He makes it claim as though she was charged during the Spanish Inquisition and burned on a stake!
The primary claim of all left wing journos is that they want freedom of speech when one of theirs makes treasonous statements. But when a nationalistic person makes a statement bashing China or Communism or a certain violent minority, the hypocritical N.Ram and his minions would be in a mad rush to beat them up.
In his classic defence of free speech, On Liberty, John Stuart Mill laid down what is known as the ‘harm principle.' It postulates that the only justification for silencing a person against his will is to prevent him from causing harm to others. It is to this powerful libertarian mid-19th century principle that we owe the idea that free speech cannot be proscribed merely because we find it disagreeable, and that curbs may be imposed only if such expression constitutes a direct, explicit, and unequivocal incitement to violence.

What Arundhati Roy did was exactly that. Supporting the rock throwing militants of Kashmir, who have for years sucked on the funds from the "special" status provided by Article 370 is a clear unambiguous evidence of treason. For all the free speech thrown around by the jerk N.Ram, how about publishing articles of the pogrom conducted by these stone throwing militants? Or the plight of the Kashmiri Hindus who were evicted from their homes?
But these are not the voices N.Ram and his minions like Sidd Varadarajan want to listen to. This is the real BS pushed as editorials by cHindu.

Return of Kasim Sait to cHindu

This "avid reader" of cHindu has nothing but the highest of praise to anything done by LiC and his minions. So its a pleasant surprise to his thoughts on the words of Arundhati Roy on the Kashmir issue:
The editorial “‘Sedition' versus free speech” (Oct. 27) is a classic defence of free speech, which only a steadfast defender of freedom of speech like The Hindu can make. The noisy clamour made by the BJP is a damp squib, as shown by the strong support extended to this cause by none other than the BJP's own fellow traveller, Ram Jethmalani. Why can't a writer, a painter, an educationist or a creative artist express his or her views freely in a liberal democratic country like ours? Why has one to constantly look over one's shoulder for expressing one's opinion and for not being termed a seditionist or one who has hurt somebody's religious or other kind of feelings? Should not our civil society draw upon the lead provided by such bold media initiatives as that of The Hindu and struggle to build a movement to usher in a really sincere liberal society, rather than the one dictated by the whims of extremist elements in society?
Kasim Sait,

This is probably the only time you will hear "bold media initiatives" and cHindu being associated in the same sentence.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Universal entitlement to food

PDS existed in various shades for most part of independent India. But it had little impact in ensuring food security because of the extent of corruption. Rajiv Gandhi remarked that the PDS struggled due to 90% pilferage. Our experiments with socialism failed miserably and there is no reason to bring Nehruvian policies back. Congress is creating a culture of entitlements driven by state control. Congress is the new Left. The Left parties have lost relevance and their support base.

Kerala, although being a money-order economy, had to revert to targeted distribution. It wont be long before TN drops the current scheme. But N.Ram has ideological compulsions in supporting universal entitlement to food.
The Hindu : Opinion / Editorials : A single solution
There is a single — and conceptually uncomplicated — solution to the problem of mass food insecurity in India: a universal entitlement to cereals and other basic components of a food basket.

Monday, October 25, 2010

China imposes Mandarin in Tibet

China has imposed Mandarin as the primary language for all students in Tibet, replacing the native Tibetian language. This is part of a plan to replace all Tibetian books within the next 5 years and teach mandarin going forward.
This has been relegated to the footnote by most Indian media outlets including "honest" journalists like LiC and his rag the cHindu.
We will be providing updates on this issue on a frequent basis.
Hat tip to Kuttychathan and Xinhua Ram for alerting us to this issue.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Krishna Iyer on Cricket - the insanity continues

cHindu's favorite loony uncle returns to enlighten us with his views on cricket.
I read this article twice but could not understand (nothing unusual here) heads or tails of what he means to convey.
If you do, please let us know :)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Bhookey-nangey Hindustan

Mary Roy winning a court case made it to news solely because she is the mother of Arundhati Roy. Surely, Arundhati Roy's call for secession and her description of Hindustan as "bhookey-nangey" should have meant a lot more to the readers. But most of the ELM seems to have simply ignored her comments or mentioned it in passing while putting the focus on Geelani. Chindu, too, simply ignored the inflammatory parts of Arundhati Roy's speech, while reporting on the event. Why so? Is this some form of page 3 journalism glorifying the trivial? No, this is secular reporting.
Arundhati Roy’s mother gets property share after 24 years
Twenty-four years after the Supreme Court’s historical judgment giving equal rights to Syrian Christian women along with their male siblings on family property, a sub court in Kottayam on Wednesday executed the final decree in favour of litigant Mary Roy.

Mary Roy, a celebrated champion of women’s fight for equality and gender justice, is mother of Booker Prize winner Arundhati Roy.
The Pioneer :: Home : >> Inciting secessionism
the open call to Kashmiris to secede from “bhookey-nangey Hindustan” by author-activist-anarchist Arundhati Roy who incited students of Aligarh Muslim University, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Delhi University to “fight for the cause of separate Kashmir… a cause that is your future”.

Friday, October 22, 2010

cHindu celebrates American sponsorship from benefactor Pakistan

Many hypocritical Indian media outlets have claimed a holier than thou attitude on the paid news scandal. Now this news release US gives $2 billion aid to Pakistan to fight terror.
The United States on Friday announced that it would provide a whopping $2.29 billion as military aid to Pakistan to bolster its army's anti-terror capabilities, notwithstanding India's concerns that Islamabad has been diverting a portion of such assistance against it.

You might ask why is this important here. But a careful observation of cHindu's editorial and news policies clearly expose it as THE main outlet in India which exposes Pakistan's cause.
It has continued to support Pakistan even when it sponsored terror attacks on Indian citizens, fomenting troubles in numerous Indian states. Is this anything to do with ideology?
cHindu's Communist loving ideology has nothing to do with the Islamic fascist state. Then logically the only scenario is that of money. cHindu not only supports Pakistani ideology within its editorials, but also its views on Kashmiri separatism.
At least the Americans showed some sensibility in portraying it as a Indian-Pakistani issue rejecting calls for intervention by Pakistan.
Meanwhile, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley, addressing journalists at the Foreign Press Center here on Friday, rejected fresh calls by Pakistan seeking Washington's intervention on the Kashmir issue. The U.S. made it clear that it was for India and Pakistan to find a resolution through “additional dialogue.” The American position was affirmed after Mr. Qureshi insisted earlier in the day that the U.S. played an active role in the resolution of Kashmir and other disputes in the South Asian region.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Summary of ASI Report on Ayodhya excavations

A very interesting article by the ever effervescent Swapan Dasgupta - Summary of ASI Report on Ayodhya excavations.

Subsequently, during the early medieval period (eleventh - twelfth century A.D.) a huge structure, nearly 50 m in north-south orientation was constructed which seems to have been short lived, as only four of the fifty pillar bases exposed during the excavation belong to this level
with a brick crush floor. On the remains of the above structure was constructed a massive structure with at least three structural phases and three successive floors attached with it.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

MMS wins Don Quixote award for world leaders

There are many types of world leaders from Zardari who claims there's no bad LeT, to Ahmedinajad who claims holocaust was a fraud. Add Manmohan Singh to the list.
MMS is one of those cerebral comedians, more in the line of P.G. Wodehouse's Bertie.
rime Minister Manmohan Singh has called for quickening the pace of developing scientific knowledge and application relevant to the needs of developing countries, while cautioning against the development path followed by the industrialised nations.

Perhaps some credit goes to the writer of cHindu but this sort of writing went out with the 60s when Nehru created his "Non-aligned" movement.
He goes on to imagine,
We have seen how the path of development followed by the industrialised countries has the potential to threaten our existence and way of life. I have, therefore, wondered whether there is an alternative and more sustainable way of developing our societies and economies without injuring and destroying the bounty of Mother Earth.

Really, here are a few thoughts, how about family planning, planned mining, preventing illegal immigrants, focus on agriculture.....
But then again these are simple solutions which MMS would we wise to heed or for the cHindu writers to analyze.

Fwd: The never-ending special status proopaganda

well written comment. abolishing of privy purses is a very good point. there is no reason to continue with special status for kashmir. hyderabad was forcibly integrated into the union by annexation. what we need is the political will for integration and not devolution of power.

---------- Forwarded message ----------

Chindu gleefully beats the Kashmiri separatists' drum.

In today's editorial Chindu's Chief thunders about the concept of "special status for the troubled State" because "Kashmir had not merged with the Union of India but had only acceded to it under an agreement".

The ediotiral continues to pontificate:

"By underlining the fact that while Kashmir had adhered to the Indian Union, it had been promised by the makers of India's Constitution that the unique circumstances of its accession would be respected, the Chief Minister was building the case for a substantive devolution of powers to the State."

Note the key words such as special status, acceded under an agreement, respecting unique circumstances of its accession, substantive devolution of powers etc. etc.

Nearly 500 or so kingdoms, chota and burrah, acceded/merged with the Indian Union. What is so special about Kashmir which we can not find with the erstwhile kingdoms of Baroda, Gwalior, Mysore, Patiala, Travancore etc.?

What about the constitutionally guranteed promise of privy purse (to the ex-rajahs) which was subsequently abolished?

Why can't Chindu fight the case for greater federalism, pleading for special status, substantive devolution of powers for all the states of the Indian Union? Why only for Kashmir?

Why can't Mr. Ram come out openly and declare Kashmir is special because of the religion of the majority of the population (Jammu is just an appendage anyway).
Facing up to Kashmir realities

Sunday, October 17, 2010

N.Ram welcomes the Archbishop

I guess, N.Ram spent Dussehra with religious fervour in the holy company of Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams.
The Hindu : National : “Listen to the voices of other faiths”
N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu, said the Archbishop had been a committed unifier and someone who had consistently progressive positions on issues such as the war on Iraq, nuclear weaponisation or obscurantist doctrines.

Fwd: Temple "affected" during muslim invasion

"affected" by muslim invasion in what way? may be, it was very touched by the invader's kindness. the temple administrators must have been so moved that they chose to write about the barbarians in both stone and copper, hoping that atleast one will survive the iconoclasts. 

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Anonymous 

Here is another specimen of selective secular reporting by Chindu.

In the most recent Friday Review (which incidentally is one of the few redeeming features of The Hindu), there is a report on the Siva temple in Mahendra Mangalam (Tiruchi District).

We are told (with due secular care and attention) that the temple built by the Maratha rulers, was "affected during the Muslim invasion." The report also mentions that inscriptions on stone and copper vouch for these facts.

Here is the history of a temple, situated deep inside, in the heart of Tamil Nadu being "affected" due to the Muslim invasion. Then one can imagine about how the temples in northern India (directly exposed to the Muslim invasion, in the first line of attack) would have been "affected".

But, one has to be thankful for small mercies from a secular citadel, for allowing such communal terminologies as (Hindu) temples getting "affected" and that too due to "Muslim invasion".

On the banks of the Cauvery

This Siva temple is in Mahendra Mangalam.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Nonsense called 'secular miracle'

LiC jumping in the bandwagon of the Chilean mining rescue story, has created another asinine concoction called 'secular miracle'.
The precise working of a group of international scientists, engineers, mining experts, NASA, Chilean Govt and others has somehow been summarized into such ignorant terms.
The workers whose bare-chested images in their sweltering dwelling had become familiar to people worldwide were reborn, thanks to a modern-day secular miracle. Those who were reunited with their families naturally felt that life meant much more to them now.

He then goes on to finish of with the usual rant on worker safety.
Workers in all countries, particularly those risking life and limb in hazardous occupations, will see in the Chilean ordeal hope for change — that in its wake, the world will pay greater attention to worker safety.

(Thanks to an anonymous reader for pointing this out)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Who is Sonia cheering for in the CWG?

cHindu has a snap of Sonia and Prince ignorant Rahul cheering on someone in the CWG.

Wonder who they are cheering for? India or Pakistan?

cHindu recomends azaadi to Kashmir

The jerks at Anna Salai have added one more to their growing brood. In an article by Dr. Vithal Rajan - The Kashmir imbroglio: thinking the unthinkable , the author recommends giving Kashmir its freedom by offering it on a platter to Pakistan. He follows that up with several ideas which in normal circumstances would put him in an asylum. But since he writes for cHindu, he would be in an editorial positions as his opinions suck up to those of LiC.
If Indian troops are out of Kashmir, would it jeopardise the security of Indians? Not really. The mountainous barrier between the Kashmir Valley and India is a better defensive line to guard than the present long untenable frontier of the Line of Control. Should we be there in Kashmir against all odds out of moral obligation, because the people of the Valley are dependent on our protection?

While I agree with the writer that Kashmiris have hated India, speaking to many they would prefer India to the hell hole currently known as Pakistan.
The writer then goes on to state foreign policy which has nothing to do with this article,
It has taken Great Britain 60 years to realise it is no longer the centre of an empire. Indian rulers have yet to realise they are no longer in charge of ‘the jewel in the crown.' Indians are not the leaders of Asia — the Chinese are.

Even an egomaniac like Late Pandit Nehru had no illusions that India was the de facto leader of Kashmir. The current leaders have no such illusions of grandeur. Then he states how India should forget the hapless citizens of Tibet,
India should not play dirty pool with China, and harbour Tibetan governments-in-exile. Let it not be forgotten that one of the causes of the India-China border war of 1962 was the covert activities of the CIA from Indian bases.

And states India should become a surrogate or puppet to China,
India should mend its fences pronto with China, and accept the glaring fact that they are bigger, and better

I'm sure LiC would be happy rubbing his cats belly like one Dr. Evil reading this sentence. I'm surprised it was not headlined.
Though I do agree with the writer's last statement which should be extended to Kashmir immediately.
India might have to redraw the frontiers, absorbing Jammu and Ladakh into India without any special status. Whatever the final shape of the outcome, India must be proactive in demanding an immediate international settlement of a problem created by Nehru.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Baseless, irrational beliefs

The Aryan Invasion Theory has been discredited and Lemuria has been relegated as fictional, but the patriarch of Dravidian separatism continues to indulge in the charade. Karunanidhi romanticises Dravidian history while scoffing at Aryan civilisation. It paid rich political dividends in the past but the world has moved on since. But he clings on to his baseless, irrational beliefs on the mythical Aryan invasion and Dravidian subjugation.
The Hindu : Front Page : “Rama's birthplace traced, but not Raja Raja's memorial”
“But the Aryan civilisation that tried to upstage the Dravidian race is keen on only inculcating irrational beliefs in the people without any basis.”

Neena Vyas reports her own interpretations as news

In what must be the worst forms of journalistic reporting, Neena Vyas interprets BJP's statements with malice. What we read is not excerpts from the press release but an exclusive version of what she thinks is the intention behind those statements. How she came to those conclusions is not known but it reveals her sick mind.
Neena Vyas makes no attempt to hide behind a fig leaf while exposing her own secular credentials. This article should make her a top contender for the worst reporter of the year, with Siddharth Varadarajan running a close second.
The Hindu : Front Page : Post-verdict, the BJP's talk of ‘reconciliation'
It is becoming clearer by the day that when the Bharatiya Janata Party and the larger Sangh Parivar talk of “reconciliation” between Hindus and Muslims post-Ayodhya verdict, they simply mean that Muslims must voluntarily give up all claims to any portion of the disputed land on which the Babri Masjid stood till December 1992.
The spokesperson also suggested that ordinary Muslims wanted reconciliation (read want to surrender that right on the one-third disputed site) and that it was the “secularists” who wanted the conflict to continue.

Interesting analysis on post Ayodhya life

Hat tip to Sudhir for analyzing this article. Please read his expert opinion here.
Some sections from Sudhir's article here,
Sample this - "
However, most people added a caveat: This did not imply unreserved acceptance of the verdict. I reminded them of the Muslim promise that the community would honour the verdict, no matter how it went."

Why was that "reminder" needed, Vidya? Did they say they are not honouring the verdict? Did anyone say "You know what, we ain't care a hoot about the verdict, what follows is pure violence"? They just said they don't agree with it. Now, from when did that become a crime? They are well within their rights to disagree with the judgement, and yet decide to move on.

Of the many writers in cHindu, Vidya Subrahmaniam is a slightly different kind. She has the narrative of a story teller and the pace of a dhobi mule. Her opinions though stick to the age old cHindu stereotypes of young Muslims being peaceful and pain against the Indian state.
Guess old dogs cant be taught new tricks.

In law, a temple and a mosque cannot be considered on a par

T.R. Andhyarujina
is trying to incite the muslims by creating a sense of victimhood by repeatedly harping on the demolition. He is trying to frame the legal issue within the context of 1992 event and obviously by twisting facts.
The Hindu : Opinion / Op-Ed : A verdict that legitimises the Masjid demolition
it will leave simmering resentment in the Muslim community, for it will see that as the court's condonation and legitimisation of a place of worship having been vandalised.
Subramanian Swamy exposes the fallacy of Andhyarujina's arguments.
The Hindu : Opinion / Op-Ed : Fundamental issue in Ayodhya case
But in law, a temple and a mosque cannot be considered on a par as far as sacredness is concerned.
This is the position in Islamic law as well since in Saudi Arabia the authorities demolish mosques to lay roads. Even the mosque where Prophet Mohammed used to pray was demolished.

Friday, October 08, 2010

cHindu chokes on hearing Liu winning Nobel prize

In what was a sensational announcement by the Nobel committee,
Jailed Chinese political activist Liu Xiaobo, 54, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, a decision the Chinese government has criticised as “a blasphemy.”

The committee said,
the award went to Mr. Liu, who is in prison for his calls for political reform, “for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China.”

Of course cHindu with its top dog LiC and others were probably shattered to hear the news that Norway had shown the symbolic finger to China and did not address this news in an editorial which it richly deserves but rather in a news article by Ananth K.
In response the Chinese had this to say,
The Chinese Foreign Ministry warned that the award would adversely affect the ties between China and Norway. “Liu Xiaobo is a criminal who has been sentenced by Chinese judicial departments for violating Chinese law,” it said. The award ran “… counter to the principle of the [Nobel Peace] Prize."

I'm sure no one in Norway is quaking in their boots at this saber rattling. Here's hoping that more Liu's step up and clean that cesspool which is India's northern neighbor. India should take cue from Norway and probably award one of the Gandhi family awards, Priyanka Kutha Gandhi award or something to Liu and piss of the Chinese.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Mushy confirms Pak sponsored terrorism

Former Pak prez Pervez Musharraf confirmed what all (other than writers in cHindu) have said all along that Pakistan has been training and funding terrorism in India over the last few decades.
In an interview to Der Spiegel, General Musharraf said militant groups “were indeed formed” to fight India in Kashmir.

Now that their former President has accepted their culpability in this issue, can we go ahead and flush out the rats in Kashmir?
Not so surprisingly the Indian media has been slow in jumping on this issue to force Pakistan to officially address this issue. The next time you hear someone in the media claim how the people of Pak are not to blame for this, you should forward this article to them.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Douchebag of week- Siddharth Varadarajan

There are several jackasses in cHindu writing "articles" or "pieces of opinion". But the person who takes the cake is Siddharth Varadarajan or Sidd as we call him here. This post by Srivathsa cleanly exposes this big cheese of prima donnas.
This pompous douche tries to play the part of expert lawyer,
the court has inadvertently provided a shot in the arm for a political movement that cited the very same “faith” and “belief” to justify its open defiance of the law and the Indian Constitution.

Literary expert,
Tulsidas wrote his Ramcharitmanas in 16th century Ayodhya but made no reference to the birthplace of Lord Rama that the court has now identified with such exacting precision five centuries later.

Indiana Jones,
This was done in 2003, during the time when the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government was in power at the Centre. Not surprisingly, the ASI concluded that there was a “massive Hindu religious structure” below, a finding that was disputed by many archaeologists and historians.

And ends up looking like a prime jackass which he is. For each of the above there are numerous reliable archeological sources proving that the temple existed, was demolished by Babar's generals and the building known as Babri Masjid was another dilapidated unused building. The court ruling itself covered thousands of pages of reports and Sidd somehow digested all of these in a few hours and wrote his judgment piece on the irrationality of the court judgment. Must have some awesome speed reading skills.
But then again when did 'secular' bigots like Sidd Varadarajan ever bother to do things like research or balanced reporting?
Even if there were detailed proof of evidence, these sickular writers would question the judgment:
  • Written proof by Babar on a stamp paper that he ordered demolition of Ram Mandir
  • Birth certificate of Ram that he was born in Ayodhya
  • Portraits from Babur's architects on how Masjid was built on foundation of temple
They play to their audience which is other sickular monkeys or JNU jholawallah crowds who despise everything in ancient Indian culture that is of Hindu origin.
You know what I'm sick of this and gladly show my proverbial middle finger to Sidd Varadarajan and his paymasters at cHindu.

Muslims happy; secularists aghast

Muslims seem to have accepted the verdict as a way forward and this response from the Shia group deserves applause.
The Hindu : National : Shia group offers donation to Ram temple
Opposing any move to appeal against the Allahabad High Court verdict in the Ayodhya dispute, a Shia youth organisation here announced a donation of Rs.15 lakh towards the construction of the much-debated Ram temple at Ayodhya.

“I feel the board should take an initiative to end the dispute for good,” Hussaini Tigers chief Shamil Shamsi asserted on Saturday, saying that Muslim leaders must stick to their word of abiding by the verdict.
However, our secular intellectuals seem to be aghast at the verdict. Given that their career growth hinges upon communal violence, any sort of hindu-muslim compromise would set their alarm bells ringing. So they have taken up the mantle of islamic rage boys and are spilling red ink on the pages of chindu. The same bunch of people who have called for abiding by the verdict are now questioning the courts.

The Hindu : Front Page : Ayodhya verdict yet another blow to secularism: Sahmat
The Hindu : Front Page : A political statement, says Arundhati Roy

This contrast has also been highlighted by our reader Xinhua Ram in an earlier comment:

Muslim Indians reacted with much more tolerance than the JNU types. Contrast these two:

Indan Muslims:
Am I happy about the judgement? Yes, very happy; not only I but my entire family. The relief following the verdict on the contentious Ayodhya issue was so great that my 28-year-old son gave his parents a lavish dinner...

JNU Types:
Social activist Shabnam Hashmi says this judgement makes her feel like “a second class citizen”, Irfan Habib has said this “compromise judgement” has come at the cost of “history and facts”